Maeve Corrigan (She/Her)
My degree show work explores the intersection of quilt-making and prison abolition – processes that epitomise care.
Quilt-making is a slow, handmade craft that transforms scrap fabric into something functional and beautiful. Quilts are made to comfort and soothe. They are often passed down through families – making them intergenerational objects. A quilt has 3 layers; a decorative ‘quilt top’, a warm middle layer of batting, and then a large piece of fabric for the backing. The 3 layers are pinned and stitched together, either by machine or by hand.
Prison abolition is a movement that seeks to eliminate prisons and replace them with life-giving institutions that facilitate the conditions for healing. It recognises that our current carceral states do not protect people from violence, and instead prioritise punishment over justice and accountability. Abolitionists work to change the conditions that allow harm to occur in the first place, and to build a society that centres care over profit.
The Glasgow Prisoner Solidarity Fundraiser Quilt
The work of prison abolition is both ideological and material. Along with challenging current narratives around the role of prisons, abolitionists work to support and care for people experiencing harm and state violence right now. Quilting has long been intertwined with the abolitionist cause, with the first known fundraising quilt being used to support the abolition of slavery in 1836.
I decided to connect this rich history with the struggle in Glasgow today, so I reached out to the Glasgow Prisoner Solidarity collective to collaborate. I have created this quilt to be used as the prize in a fundraising raffle for GPS, and you are encouraged to take part! The fundraiser is open from 31st May 2022 to 12th June 2022, however, feel free to support the collective outside those dates.
How to take part
- Make a donation directly to the Glasgow Prisoner Solidarity GoFundMe online. Give generously, based on what you can afford, with a minimum donation of £5.* Link here: gofund.me/45ee6cf9
- Forward your email receipt from the GoFundMe to email@example.com. One entry per person please.
- Share widely! Follow @glasgowprisonersolidarity on Instagram to share their fundraising post.
A name will be drawn on 13th June 2022, and I will contact the winner by email to get their prize quilt to them.
The Abolition Workshops Quilt
Over the course of 8 weeks, a small group of GSA students came together to learn to quilt and to learn about abolition. Each week, we discussed a different abolitionist text over a cup of tea, slowly deepening our knowledge through our different perspectives and experiences. Alongside these discussions, we began to collectively create a quilt. We worked through the steps of choosing, cutting and sewing the fabric, making and responding to the blocks that others had created, then sitting around the quilt, sewing all the layers together. As the physical quilt grew, so too did our understanding of abolition.
The workshops used the creation of a quilt as a framework to begin putting abolitionist values into practice. These include working collaboratively, sharing skills and stories, building community, imagining other ways of being, creating a caring space, communicating directly, and voluntary participation. The process of making a quilt is a long, slow process. So too, is the work of abolition. Both loads are made lighter when shared.
This coming year, the quilt will be passed between those who made it, each enjoying the comfort it brings and sharing its story with the people in their worlds.